I recently facilitated a wide-ranging discussion about photography for an online photo mentoring club and fielded a few questions about gear and equipment. I used those questions as an opportunity to update the "Inside Our Camera Bags" section of our website, which we share in response to the questions we get about our photo equipment. Beyond the typical laundry list of camera gear, we annotate the list to help explain why we use some of these items. While a lot of these things will seem obvious to experienced photographers, we hope this compilation will be helpful to newer photographers who are trying to establish their photography kit for the first time. In addition to this post, we will maintain an updated list here (for anyone visiting well after the publish date for this post).Read More
Backing up your digital photos is without question the least interesting part of photography. No photographer thinks, “You know, I really don’t like traveling or exploring nature, or exercising my creativity, what I really like is spending time at the computer copying files to multiple places.”
Backing up your photographs is a burden, but the price of not backing up your photos can be, and odds are ultimately will be, catastrophic. I know first-hand of too many horror stories to count, not just entire trips being lost but months and even years of photographs being lost – forever! I have never had to learn the lesson the hard way, and my hope is that you won’t have to either after reading this post.Read More
On October 24, 2014, we departed on a new adventure and new way of life. That day, we headed to Zion National Park for our first journey as semi-nomads. We purchased a used Airstream trailer so we could travel extensively while still being able to return to a home base. With Ron working a fully remote job and me with flexible sources of income, we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to spend more time visiting special places, spend more time photographing, and ultimately, feel like we are living our lives more fully. One year in, we feel like we made the right decision to take this leap and plan to continue like this indefinitely.Read More
Why a compilation like this?
I will start out by saying that I am generally not a fan of women-only lists because I want my photography to stand on its own. I don’t want to be known as a woman landscape photographer, just a landscape photographer who happens to be a woman. So, why am I writing this post? For the two reasons described below.
Since I started in landscape photography, this field has noticeably diversified in terms of both race and gender. Significantly more women are pursuing landscape photography (or at least are more visible) and many have developed compelling, top-tier portfolios of work. More women are teaching workshops, running photo tours, writing, showing in galleries, selling prints, and providing leadership within landscape photography. Yet, we continue to be woefully underrepresented at the top levels of this field as evidenced by the overwhelming absence of women in publications, conference/summit/symposia rosters, podcast interviews, portfolio features, brand ambassador line-ups, and other symbols of achievement and relevance in landscape photography. And, when a woman is included, it sometimes feels like little more than a token gesture.
This dynamic seems to be increasingly frustrating to women photographers and I see more people speaking out about this lack of representation more regularly. Some women are responding with women-only workshops, publications, and collaborative groups to offer alternatives to the "business as usual" spaces in this field where few women are represented. And, photographers concerned about this under-representation are being more vocal in calling it out.Read More
I will start out this post with an important note. This is not a rant due to sour grapes or feeling left out of the clique of popular kids. When I was posting regularly on 500px, my images often made it to the front page and even filled the top slot on the site on a few occasions. I am also not intending to criticize or offend any individual photographers who are active on 500px but am instead commenting on the negative culture that the site promotes and feeds. I am somewhat hesitant to post something filled with a lot of negativity but decided to go ahead since I think a dialogue on this topic is important.
Landscape photographers have been engaging in a lot of dialogue about the 500px photo-sharing site lately and for good reason (many of the discussions have been on private Facebook pages about individual photographers and photographs, but here is a link to a recent post on the topic and one from Ron from a few years ago). 500px is having a strong influence on the landscape photography community and in the views of some, including me, this is not a positive development. I am weighing in and discussing some of the arguments that others have made on this topic because I find 500px's influence to be damaging to the direction of landscape photography overall and harmful for individual photographers who feel the strong pull to conform because of the site’s dominance. And even though I use 500px as the example, the points also serve to illustrate much larger trends in photography overall.
As a fellow photographer reminded me in an email dialogue on this topic, the 500px culture isn’t going to change. So why bother even talking about this? Because photography and the sharing of photography should be a positive, constructive, and enriching experience. I have heard from enough new photographers to know that the culture of the 500px website can be highly demoralizing and a single website should not have the power to stop budding photographers before they even get started or discourage talented photographers who cannot get traction on the site.Read More
As Ron and I started writing our first e-book on photographing Iceland, we decided to include a section on photography etiquette since we had encountered a string of distressing behavior from other photographers during some recent trips. These incidents started becoming so common that Ron gave them the nickname of Crimes Against Photography, some of which are included below. While the vast majority of my experiences with other landscape photographers have been positive, these other less-than-positive incidents have become frequent enough to suggest that the landscape photography community could benefit from practicing some common etiquette principles.
Considering that landscape photographers should be ambassadors for and respectful of the wild and natural places we visit and photograph, it is surprising to find that an important topic like this receives almost no attention from the typical sources of photography information. This also helps explain why the behavior we have observed occurs so frequently. With some landscape photography locations only becoming more crowded and more people taking up this pursuit, this topic is only becoming more important.Read More